She held the gun the way a certain kind of careless man held his glass of whiskey. It was illegal, illicit. But, nonetheless, it was hers. She would do with it as she pleased, consequences be damned.
The gun made her hot, restless, wanting. Her heart pounded in her chest, a Nora Bayes song. The one playing that sweltering, innocent night when she saw him, years ago. Get your gun. Get your gun. She had her gun now.
He didn’t see her at first, as he walked out of his house, toward the pool. Tall and slender, his naked flesh so pale it was as if he’d made it through the entire summer without letting even the small- est bit of sunlight touch him. Nothing touched him. Wasn’t that what made Jay Gatsby so great?
He stepped toward the pool, that arrogant walk, that look on his face. That knowing. He had it all; he had everything. He’d taken everything. But then, just before his toe touched the water, he stopped suddenly, looked up, as if sensing her presence. He noticed her standing there, half behind the shrubbery, and he smiled.
“You’ve come,” he said, his voice thick with surprise. His eyes were on her face, not on her hand, not on the gun.
She raised her hand up higher, pointed the gun straight at his chest. And then somehow, from across the pool, he could suddenly feel it, her heat and her anger and her madness. It had been sim- mering for so long, and now it was boiling over. His face contorted. “What are you doing?” he spoke softly, slowly. He was working it out in his own mind. Why? What? How?
The distance between her gun and his heart was an easy shot. The trigger burned in the heat of the midday sun, as she closed one eye, aimed, squeezed. In an instant, the world exploded, the gun smoked. Her fingers shook and burned.
And then, all at once, his greatness flickered. He fell unevenly into the pool, water cascading into the sky like a choreographed dance of swans. Beautiful, unexpected. The cascade died off into limp waves, and she took a few steps closer. His pale flesh was sink- ing underwater now, ripped apart…